Pulling the Foot From the Grave to the Squat Cage
I’m…in disagreement about the…assertion – and the common belief – that diseases such as diabetes and cancer are due to aging and not simple lifestyle factors. These aren’t diseases of aging, they’re diseases of bullshit. We have this deeply ingrained belief, it seems, that aging inherently comes with disease and we’re all just…well…screwed. Watch drug commercials and it would seem that once we hit 55, all that’s left to do is retire, bicker about leftovers with the old ball and chain, and apparently settle in for a few decades of drugs, walkers, pee bags and pain prescriptions. But aging doesn’t have to mean – and shouldn’t mean – wrinkles, broken hips, weakness, and disease. Far from it. There’s no reason you can’t be as lean, strong, and energetic at 50, 60, 70, and even 80 as you were at 25. The key is not a drug, but a healthy, preventive lifestyle.
Using age as an excuse is simply pointing the finger at the calendar rather than accepting the blame that you’ve gone a long time making poor decisions. I’m approaching 40, and this brings a host of observations. No longer do I just have concern for friends and family that are in higher age classes (now aging to me is simply the option to compete in powerlifting meets in a slightly easier age class for when I don’t feel like competing in the Open category). Now my concern is traveling the other direction. Who are you kids and why are you so decrepit?
You, in the skinny tapered jeans and those giant sunglasses that give you that cop-in-a-70s-porno look. Kudos for riding your fixed gear bike around town, but must you be smoking while you’re doing it? Your posture is a chiropractor’s wet dream, since, if you had any money, it could put his kids through culinary school (twice) with all the work it needs.
I’ve been out of college longer then you’ve been out of diapers. What choices are you making that your health should be so poor?
Why the rant? Huzzah, I say, to the trend of sagacity bringing people to better decisions. Although age is often the whipping boy, being blamed for any collection of ills, it is also with the wisdom that age brings that many are discovering the beauties of movement and strength. Within Bodytribe walls hard work is expected, whether you’re 20 or 200, and it is this rare equality that inspires me. We have a unique population where a good majority of our tribe who have a greater number of years under their belts can kick the asses of the younger tribe members. This is almost comical to realize, since most eyes here don’t see age and just see hard work. So this trend wasn’t obvious until I actually considered the ages of our members. And that makes me smile.
What if this role reversal of ability spread like a ripe avocado over the rest of the neighborhood? In my Utopian scenario, better choices are made as a body progresses chronologically. This gives me hope, for maybe this is the inspiration that changes a young mind to make better decisions at some point, after seeing a bunch of older bad-asses living fuller lives.
The old (me) have always bitched about the young (me in 1989). I’m now what I used to laugh at as a kid. “Shut up old man,” the 1989 me would say to the current me. No, not really, I was too polite, but I’d be thinking it. Well the current me could mop the floor with the 1989 me, and I’m planning on the 2029 me being able to do the same with the 2009 me. Nothing wrong with a little long term planning, eh?
Oh, if only I knew that then. As Oscar Wilde wrote, “I’m not young enough to know everything.” Somehow that’s appropriate.